REVEALED: Lionel Messi’s wife Antonela ‘can’t imagine moving the family to Saudi Arabia’ in a stumbling block for PSG star to take a £522MILLION contract to renew his rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo
- Lionel Messi has been strongly linked with a move to Saudi side Al-Hilal
- Messi’s wife Antonella Roccuzzo is not convinced about the family moving there
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Any desire Lionel Messi might have in moving to Saudi Arabia could be impacted by his wife who is reportedly hesitant about the family moving to the Gulf state.
The Argentine World Cup winner has an offer from Saudi Pro League side Al Hilal, in which he could earn contract worth a staggering £522m.
Should the Paris Saint-Germain star join the Saudi club, it would renew his rivalry with long-term rival Cristiano Ronaldo – who joined Al-Nassr at the end of December.
Messi is prepared to wait until the end of the season to make his decision – one that could be influenced by his wife Antonela Roccuzzo.
French publication L’Equipe have reported that Antonela ‘can’t imagine’ their family moving to Saudi Arabia.
Lionel Messi’s wife Antonela Roccuzzo (left) is reportedly reluctant for the couple along with their three children to move to Saudi Arabia and would prefer they stay in Europe
Messi is set to leave PSG at the end of the season and he has an offer on the table from Saudi Pro League side Al Hilal which is worth a staggering £522m
Messi and his wife recently made a visit to Saudi Arabia with their sons Ciro and Mateo as part of his duties as a tourism ambassador in the country
It’s that she is reluctant for the couple, along with their three young sons – Thiago, 10, Mateo, 7, and Ciro, 5 – to relocate to the Middle East and she would prefer to stay in Europe.
L’Equipe claim that the offer on the table for Messi is a two-year deal with the option of a third – which he would be 38-years-old by the end of.
Messi himself would still prefer to stay in Europe and it’s said that he is keeping an eye on the financial situation at former club Barcelona.
However, the Spanish giants where Messi made his legendary career, must find around £175m to be able to register recruited players or players already on the books who they sign to new contract extensions.
Similar to Ronaldo, Saudi Arabia see Messi as a star of the game, and believe that the prospect of him moving to the country is a ‘unique opportunity which is impossible to pass up’.
It’s claimed that Riyadh has been preparing its strategy for months and has ‘left nothing to chance’.
Messi’s contract at PSG is set to expire at the end of the season and the 35-year-old looks certain to leave the club where he has struggled to build the same level of affinity as he did at Barcelona.
Talk of a move to Saudi Arabia heightened after he took an unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia, where he holds a £25m-a-year tourism ambassadorial role.
Messi could be about to join his long-standing rival Cristiano Ronaldo in the Saudi Pro League
Messi released a video apologising for his unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia last week
Messi’s trip went down very badly with the French giants who suspended him for two weeks.
PSG’s players had a scheduled day off on the Monday but following their 3-1 defeat to Lorient the previous day, manager Christophe Galtier ordered them in for extra training.
Messi, however, was already in transit to Saudi Arabia – a country where he could be playing his football next season – and wasn’t able to turn back.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner issued a grovelling apology via social media in which he said: ‘Hello. Well, I wanted to make this video after everything that’s going on.
‘First of all, I apologise again to my team-mates at the club. I honestly thought that we were going to have the day off after the game as we had done before.
PSG tweeted out a photograph of Messi on the ball in training on Monday afternoon
The 35-year-old (pictured alongside Antonela) signed a £25m-a-year deal with Saudi Arabia last year to become a tourism ambassador
Roccuzzo (left) would prefer the family stay in Europe, something Messi (right) would also prefer – though he has a large offer on the table to mull over from Saudi side Al Hilal
‘I had organised this trip to Saudi Arabia, which I had previously cancelled and I couldn’t go. Once again, I apologise for what I did. So here I am, waiting to see what the club wants to do, nothing more. A hug.’
Messi though has now returned to training after his suspension was lifted.
During the family’s recent trip to Saudi Arabia, Messi along with Antonela and his children were photographed enjoying attractions in the capital Riyadh and Diriyah.
Messi is concentrating on the season’s finale with Paris Saint-Germain and wants to end the campaign with the French league title.
Spanish outlet El Chiringuito reported Messi could be joined at Al-Hilal by his former Barcelona team-mate Sergio Busquets, who will accept a two-season deal, and potentially also Jordi Alba.
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